Merced College invites all Los Banos and Dos Palos residents, along with supporters from throughout Merced County, to the Los Banos Campus’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on Nov. 5.

The free Friday afternoon celebration, from 4 to 6 p.m., will take place in the outdoor quad of the Merced College Los Banos Campus (22240 West Highway 152).

“The Merced College Los Banos Campus 50th year celebration highlights our commitment to serving the community and the thousands of people on the west side of Merced County who have advanced their education and created better lives for themselves,” Merced College President Chris Vitelli said.

Free food will be served, and free entertainment — including fun carnival games — will add to the fun. Merced College Trustee John Pedrozo and Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke will lead a volunteer barbecue crew who will provide free food, and taco trucks will also be ready to serve free tacos.

The campus is inviting businesses and organizations to help sponsor the celebration, and families and individuals can contribute for just $50 to join the “50 for 50” club. For a complete list of sponsorship levels, and to contribute, visit Los Banos 50th Webpage.

“The whole west side of Merced County is proud of the Merced College Los Banos Campus for what it has done for our community,” said Merced College Trustee Joe Gutierrez, who represents Los Banos. “We hope there will be a big turnout for the celebration so the campus can express its appreciation to the many people who have supported it over the years.”

During the celebration, present and past Los Banos Campus staff and students will be honored, as well as emeritus board member Gene Vierra. Previous deans of the campus will be acknowledged, as well as several adjunct instructors who have worked at the campus for many decades.

Los Banos Campus dean Jessica Moran, a native of Los Banos and a graduate of Los Banos High School, has seen the campus grow over the years and wants to continue that growth.

“We plan to welcome our community to showcase what we have accomplished over the past five decades,” Moran said, “but we also want to hear what they envision will help us grow over the next five decades. Students from our Los Banos Welding Program created a specially designed suggestion box for this event. All suggestions will be read and will help shape what we accomplish over the next five decades.”

During the past half-century, many who might not have otherwise been able to attend college have benefitted from their experience at the Los Banos Campus, earning degrees and certificates, transferring to universities or finding well-paying jobs.

For more on the history of the Los Banos Campus, read this series of columns by former Dean John Spevak, writing for the Los Banos Enterprise.

The final two columns, highlighting the most recent two decades at the campus, will run prior to the event.

Merced College does not discriminate, and prohibits harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, age, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation.

Media Contact: James Leonard,, 209-681-1061